Having established the party parameters and planned the menu, on Sunday I printed and filled out three At Home Worksheets: Menu Planning, Schedule and Shopping.
Step 3. Organizing Tasks & Time
Organizing Tasks & Time is probably your most important planning effort. The principle here is that you should spread your tasks over time and resources. If, when you have scheduled your tasks it feels like there is no way you can do this and imagine not feeling pressured and get your one relaxed hour before guests arrive, you need to drop back one step and re-think your menu. Remember: Things always take longer than you think! Alternatively, you need to develop more resources! That means more help from friends and family or the decision to make less and buy more. The latter may mean some menu revision.
I feel confident in my menu and plan. I can imagine this being a wonderful dinner and my enjoying it from start to finish. As you review my schedule, it may look like lots to do as the list is long. I never took the position that home entertaining is effortless. But this list is spread over nine days and most of the tasks are easy. And remember, I enjoy doing these things. It’s only when they become too much that what should be a pleasure becomes a chore. We’ll see as the week progresses.
Here is my schedule as I filled out on At Home’s Schedule Worksheet:
The Weekend Before (that meant this past weekend):
Menu Plan (completed)
Meyer Lemon Sorbet (completed)
Candied Meyer Lemon Peel (nearly completed — the peels are candied and drying fro a few days)
Rhubarb — not entirely sure how I want to make this. So far I have cut rhubarb into small cubes and am macerating the cubes in sugar. This creates a kind of “cure” to the rhubarb — extracting some water.
Completed shopping list
Filled out Schedule worksheet
Ordered Wild Italian fennel pollen online
Ordered chocolates from Michael Recchuiti (forgot to do this and now may need to pay higher freight)
Plan for this week
Thursday looks like the day or evening I will have time for most of this
Arrange for server/helper from Frog Commissary staff (completed)
Figure out a hot hors d’oeuvres to add to menu
Make components of lentil salad
Make wild mushroom broth
Finish candied lemon peel (Completed)
Make crostini for white anchovy hors d’oeuvres and cheese — I cut these today and they are drying before a brush some with garlic and olive oil, for the hors d’oeuvres and some just olive oil for the cheese.
Make mint syrup for the champagne cocktail
Make cornmeal cookies
Ask Frog Commissary kitchen for small amount of our star-anise scented lotus root chips for cocktails
Some light neighborhood shopping mid-week to deal with my mid-week prep (Wednesday for Thursday prep)
Shop for wine (Christina) (Completed)
Friday – Reading Terminal Market shopping
Rittenhouse Square Farmer’s Market — flowers and cheese
Portion striped bass
Sorrel mayonnaise for Spring Vegetable Antipasti
Cook fava and peel fava beans
Prep and cook baby artickokes
Pull and label platters/bowls
Chill champagne and wine
Portion striped bass and coat with fennel pollen
Assemble lentil salad
Slice and platter cured salmon
Grill baby artichokes
Platter/bowl olives and chips
Temper and pre-scoop sorbet and hold back in freezer
Run dishwasher and empty
Wash and put away any dirty pots, pans, etc.
Put away things on counters we won’t need to turn-out dinner
Post menu and task list (prep labels) on cabinets
Review dinner plan with Frog Commissary helper
Make white anchovy crostini
Make hot hors d’oeuvres
Arrange antipasti plates
Sautee wild mushrooms and compose pasta course in bowl
Pan-sear striped bass and arrange with lentil salad on dinner plate
Make cheese plates
Next: Shopping and Progress Report
At Home’s Mother’s Day Special
You should have recieved an email from me Monday about an At Home’s Mother’s Day Gift Special that includes a personally inscribed At Home, a Pascal Lemaitre Mother’s Day Card and At Home bookplate for you to inscribe a permanent Mother’s Day greeting in your gift. I hope you consider giving the gift of At Home. Also, please forward the email to everyone you think might be interested.
Thank you for visiting.